Showing posts from 2016

A Thanksgiving to Remember

Once again, inevitably, Thanksgiving is upon us. Now, I know common wisdom has it that Thanksgiving is a day to bond with family, and express thankfulness for the past year’s bounty. But to be fair, Thanksgiving isn’t without its pitfalls. Relatives for one (c’mon now, I know you’ve at least once looked at your family members and asked yourself, “How can I possibly be related to these people?”); politics for another. And let’s not forget football, which doesn’t even promise the relief of a half-time show!
We don’t do a full family thanksgiving anymore—the reasons for which are a whole other blog post; another time maybe. So, it’ll just be us, the dogs, my brother and his wife and their son, our good friends who used to live across the driveway from us, and my old, old, old friend Daniel. It’ll be nice. It always is. And for that, I am grateful.
Let’s face it Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday—especially if you’re LGBT. So, to honor the day and the difficulty of family, I am sharing…

The Reluctant Puppetmaster

Yo, yo little brother, what you out here trying to discover
I’m working on my new book and as I was driving and thinking through a particularly difficult plot line, this song, “Yo Little Brother,” from the mid 80s came on the radio. (1984 to be exact and it hit #57 on the Billboard Hot 100.) It caught my attention—of course I remember when it came out. Now it resonated perhaps because at that moment, listening to that song, I was that little brother, out here trying to discover…what?
I suppose the short answer is I am trying to discover my characters—what their thoughts are, their passions, what drives them to behave as they do. What secrets do they hold, and keep from me? And I wondered, what, as I do with each book, writing this one, I would discover about myself.
I checked every place I thought he might of gone Until I came across a house with something going on I looked in the window there was brother and his crew And he was doing everything a little brother shouldn’t do
My characters…

A Gay Son's Musings About His Dad

I love my Dad.
That’s probably not an unusual statement. But when it’s a gay son talking, there is often some history and work that went into making that a true statement.
I love my dad. I saw him two weeks ago when I drove up to visit. I hadn’t seen him in about a year and I realized how much I missed him.
When I was younger, my relationship with my dad was…strained. I think part of it was my own resistance to him, thinking he didn’t like the idea that I was gay. So for some years in there, I kept my distance. That changed one rainy Saturday morning in 1988 when I was racing to work outside of Washington, D.C. I was doing 80 when a car merged onto the highway in front of me. I would guess it was going about 40 miles an hour. I slammed on the brakes. I was going so fast and the other car was going so slow, it actually looked like the other car was moving backwards towards me. I’d decreased speed to about 60 at the moment of impact. My car started spinning and as it started to flip an…

#ThrowbackThursday: The Power of Music

I’ve posted before about the power of books and music to not just transport us and teach us but to save us. It’s in part why I write. And while I don’t write music, or even play an instrument (barring an unfortunate pre-adolescent attempt to learn to play the trombone), I do hear a certain series of sounds, a rhythm as I write my words.
But back to music. I heard a song on the radio the other day that reminded me of the power of music. So for Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share the song and how it saved me. The song was “Groove me Bay.” The version I heard the other day on NPR was the original by King Floyd (1971). But the one that saved me was the later remake by Fern Kinney.
The song gave me hope, and while hope is not a strategy it is sometimes all we have. And it was definitely all I had then. Let’s look at the lyrics that were most meaningful to me.
You’ve become a sweet taste in my mouth, now And I want to be your spouse.
Yep I wanted to get married. And gay as I was, I only …

He Decided That He Had To Move Away From Homophobic Household

"There’s always a way out and it’s really up to you. You can’t just wait around and wait for things to get better, you really have to take action and that’s what I did. I took action, I left home, and moved to America, which is halfway around the world to just really become myself." 

Keep reading.

In Your Lips: A Poem by Jose Rafael Prieto

In honor of National Poetry Day I thought I'd share this poem by my friend and fellow writer (and poet) Jose Rafael Prieto.

“In Your Lips”

In your lips,
I search
for the freshness
of rain.

Your beauty,
damp with desire
and ever-present, is
born anew,
pleasing me
now and now and now,

Your love is calm
and majestic.

Whereas Divine
is Law and my physics,
you and your love
are my event horizon.

Copyright © 2015  Jose Rafael Prieto 

The Corporatorium: Happy, Happy, Happy (Episode 14)

The Global Director of HR’s webcast was scheduled for 9 AM EST which meant I actually needed to be in the office on time.  I arrived in the office, with two minutes to spare, to witness Ivy skipping down the hall and trilling, “I’m happy, happy, happy!”  TWO and the other two Cerberus stared after her in dismay.
“Look,” Ivy called over her shoulder, “I’m exhibiting brand behavior!”
“Do you suppose she’s gone off her meds?” Barbara the first asked with concern.
“Either that or she’s taken an overdose,” Diana answered.
It was a widely held supposition within our department that Ivy was on some sort of prescription mood altering drug.  The supposition was held despite an overwhelming absence of hard evidence.  Still, we clung to our collective belief much as one clings to the supposition that one’s overweight coworker must eat ravenously despite the fact that one has never seen her or him consume more calories than those contained in the occasional sip of conspicuously diet coke.

The Corporatorium: We Are Happy (Episode 13)

“Churl! You—are—late!” Terry announced as I stepped off the elevator.
Now you may have noticed by now that I am almost always late.  Normally any statement of the obvious does not warrant my attention, but coming from Terry who was too keen, too creatively sarcastic to use the obvious as a conversational gambit, I turned around and raised an eyebrow.  “For?”
“The Lizzie Borden webcast?” he stated more question than answer, raising an eyebrow to match mine.
“Shit! Why aren’t you on it?”
He pointed to the discreet earplug jammed into his head and mouthed, “I am.  Your battleaxes are logged in from the conference room.” Then he shouted at my hastily retreating back, “It’s just starting.  Technical difficulties, you know, caused a delay.”  I could feel the eye roll.
I pushed into the room and no one looked up, damning testimony to the accepted fact of my habitual lateness.  Lizzie Borden’s voice boomed from the speakerphone.  Nigel pushed a chair out for me.  The Cerberus looked at me, d…

The Corporatorium: The Brett Factor (Episode 12)

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the flashing blue of the Jabber message window. I felt—like the cold hand of death grasping your shoulder—rather than saw the dreaded name.
Brett Buttler: Are you there? Theus Jones: I’m here Brett Buttler: Did you get my email? Theus jones: No. Brett Buttler: I sent it last night at 10. Theus Jones: I was offline. Brett Buttler: Offline? Theus Jones: Did you need something? Brett Buttler: Read my email. Set up a call for 9:30. Ping me with the call-in info. Theus Jones: ‘K
Ten minutes later I’d read his emails—the first of which contained few words and little information and the second of which contained many more words and no information—assembled my team: Nigel, Diana, and Barbara the first whom I’d gotten out of bed—and dialed into the conference call where we waited fifteen minutes for Brett to join.
“How can he be late for his own call?” Barbara the first asked.  We could hear her fixing herbal tea in the background.
“It’s a power thing.”
“Yeah he proba…